And it all started with this.
The blackberries were grand this year. They came and went pretty fast this year because of the drought and blistering heat, but when you live like we do, you make hay while the sun shines. So I picked and picked like a madwoman for a couple of weeks, battling 100+ temps and heat stroke.
Then came the lettuce, which wasn't much of a chore, actually. Just picked and ate, and the 2 types we planted stored really well in the fridge. It was a Mignonette Bronze and Red Romaine. They were beautiful, and even in the extreme heat, took a LONG time to finally bolt.
Isn't it gorgeous? We've just planted our second planting of it...no point in trying to plant anything earlier, but the heat has finally gone away. We've also got green beans in the dirt (3-4 inches tall already) and kale and carrots and radishes and beets.
I canned quite a bit of green beans and salsa, as you can see here.
I canned a batch of peach salsa and a big batch of peach jam when the peaches came in. Unfortunately a few other things were coming in too, so I decided to just freeze the rest of the peaches, figured I can make more salsa and jam later, when I'm not so busy.
And, on July 21st, we got our very first pullet egg!! It's next to an egg from the big birds for size comparison.
As you can see, our 2 little peach trees did well for us this year.
In addition to the salsa, I canned tomato sauce and whole tomatoes this year, and dried a ton. I still have tomatoes out there, but the ripening process is slowing down with the cooler temps.
I pickled baby onions, green beans and okra too. Lots and lots of okra....lol
We had a decent enough potato harvest, considering the drought. In the neighborhood of 50 pounds altogether. We also harvested 14 butternut squash, and there are a few more out there that are late bloomers. Today the Irishman picked about half the apples out on the tree, and it's about 2 bushel. My plan for those bad boys is storing most of them and drying the rest. I still have applesauce coming out the wazoo from 2 years ago.
So far, with 2/3 of the bed finished, I have frozen about 5 quarts of edamame. And the plants that are left are loaded, just a variety that matures later than the others. The quinoa experiment...well...it got knocked down by a storm and we are pulling it up by the roots soon and hanging it in the garage to dry. I'm not sure if it's really ready, some of the seed heads look more full and seedy than others. We'll see.
I have started harvesting some of the lemon grass...drying the big leaves for tea, and found a link today to freezing herbs in olive oil, which I am going to try with some of the stalks. I thought I would also do some of the mint and basil that way, but most of the herbs--oregano, mint, basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary, will be dried.
I dried 25 pounds of red onions and about 10 pounds of button mushrooms too. And some summer squash slices for soups. And some okra and tomatoes. I will be drying some apples still and even dried some peach slices to see how that would work. Great! lol And I almost forgot that I dried 10 pounds of sweet cherries too.
So you can see that I have been hard at it. Tonight I made a lovely Thai rice noodle dish and some spring rolls, and will post that recipe tomorrow. It was delicious!
So I will say goodnight now, and come back tomorrow and post that recipe, between working on that big bunch of apples that are sitting in my kitchen....